The confusion over Microsoft's plans to retire the current Mail and Calendar apps for Windows with the new Outlook for Windows app continues. Last week, Microsoft sent a message to Microsoft 365 admins stating the Mail and Calendar apps would be replaced by the new Outlook starting in September 2024. However, an apparent backlash against that timeframe caused Microsoft to send out a follow-up message stating it was now "reevaluating the timeline".
Now, a new post on the Microsoft 365 message center, as shown by Windows enthusiast Tero Alhonen on Twitter, states that Microsoft won't replace the apps with Outlook until sometime "by the end of next year." This newly vague timeline shows Microsoft still doesn't have a firm date yet, and may not have one for some time.
Updated future of the Mail and Calendar apps in Windows with Outlook— Tero Alhonen💙💛 (@teroalhonen) June 20, 2023
Updated June 20, 2023: We have updated the content below for clarity.
By the end of next year we will be replacing the Mail and Calendar apps in Windows with the new Outlook for Windows… pic.twitter.com/qv6ijfpaSh
The message post also states that while Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscribers will be able to use the new Outlook for Windows app, people without such a subscription "will need to manage their email and calendar in Outlook on the web" after those Email and Calendar apps are retired.
This seems like an odd decision to make for people who would simply like to use the Outlook Windows app as a desktop email client. Indeed. Microsoft has already released the latest version of Outlook for Mac PCs as a free client, with no need for a Microsoft or Office 365 subscription.
The good news is that there's still a ton of time before all these changes are supposed to be made, so Microsoft could make some additional adjustments to its plans in the weeks and months to come.